US Conference of Mayors Passes Historic Peace Budget Resolution
July 1, 2017
World Beyond War
This week the US Conference of Mayors passed three resolutions urging Congress to move money out of the military and into human and environmental needs -- exactly the reverse of Trump's budget. Those historic actions came after more than 20,000 people signed a petition promoted by World Beyond War and RootsAction.org, and after several cities passed similar resolutions promoted by Code Pink, World Beyond War, and the US Peace Council.
US Conference of Mayors
Passes Peace Budget Resolution
World Without War
(June 29, 2017) -- This week the US Conference of Mayors passed three resolutions urging Congress to move money out of the military and into human and environmental needs -- exactly the reverse of Trump's budget. Those historic actions came after more than 20,000 people signed a petition promoted by World Beyond War and RootsAction.org, and after several cities passed similar resolutions promoted by Code Pink, World Beyond War, and the US Peace Council.
The resolutions include many uncomfortable truths rarely heard in Washington, D.C., and are worth reading:
One of them includes instructions to mayors across the United States. They are to promptly hold public hearings on what each department of their government could do if it had the funding now going to the military and on the amount residents pay in taxes for militarism.
They are to pass a resolution calling on Congress to move significant funds from the military budget to human needs. And they are to send a copy of the resolution to their federal legislators with a request that they respond with their plans to reduce the military budget in favor of the human needs budget.
Now you can make a real difference by urgently approaching your town or city or county government with this mandate for them to hold hearings and pass a resolution. And it's time for us to take this a step further.
Click here to quickly email your state legislators and governor urging them to follow the lead of the nation's cities and urge Congress to pass a human and environmental needs budget, not a budget heavily devoted to war.
ACTION ALERT: Un-Trump the Budget
Our environmental and human needs are desperate and urgent. We need to transform our economy, our politics, our policies and our priorities to reflect that reality. That means reversing the flow of our tax dollars, away from war and militarism, and towards funding human and environmental needs, and demanding support for that reversal from all our political leaders at the local, state and national levels.
We and the movements we are part of face multiple crises. Military and climate wars are destroying lives and environments, threatening the planet and creating enormous flows of desperate refugees. Violent racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia and other hatreds are rising, encouraged by the most powerful voices in Washington DC.'
President Trump plans to strip $54 billion from human and environmental spending so as to increase already massive spending on the military. The plan raises Pentagon spending to well over 60 cents of every discretionary dollar in the US budget -- even as Trump himself admits that enormous military spending has left the Middle East "far worse than it was 16, 17 years ago." The wars have not made any of us safer.
Washington's militarized foreign policy comes home as domestic law enforcement agencies acquire military equipment and training from the Pentagon and from military allies abroad. Impoverished communities of color see and face the power of this equipment regularly, in the on-going domestic wars on drugs and immigrants. This military-grade equipment is distributed and used by many of the same private companies that profit from mass incarceration and mass deportation.
Using just a fraction of the proposed military budget, the US could provide free, top-quality, culturally competent and equitable education from pre-school through college and ensure affordable comprehensive healthcare for all.
We could provide wrap-around services for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence; replace mass incarceration with mass employment, assure clean energy and water for all residents and link our cities by new fast trains. We could double non-military US foreign aid, wipe out hunger worldwide. The list of possibilities is long.
Instead, the Trump administration plans to take much of their $54 billion gift for the Pentagon from the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency (even threatening to shut down its already under-funded environmental justice office), the Department of Health and Human Services (slashing family planning and anti-violence-against-women programs), from the State Department (thus privileging war over diplomacy), and foreign aid (so that the wealthiest country in human history turns its back on the world's most desperate).
Among those most desperate are the 24 million refugees who have been forced out of their homes and countries, more than at any time since World War II. Instead of cruel Muslim bans and cuts to the already meager number of refugees allowed into the US, we should be welcoming far more.
Alleviating the refugee crisis also means working to end, rather than escalate, the wars that create refugees, and supporting human rights defenders in their home communities. That means more diplomacy and foreign aid, not more military spending.
With its hundreds of billions of un-audited dollars, the military remains the greatest consumer of petroleum in the United States, and one of the world's worst polluters. T
he US needs new green, sustainable jobs across our economy targeted to people facing the highest rates of unemployment and low wages. Military spending results in an economic drain. Clean energy production creates 50% more jobs than the same investment in military spending.
The US military also serves as a security force protecting the extraction and transport of fossil fuels domestically and from the Middle East and other parts of the world.
US military force thus enables the continued assault on the planet and some of its most impoverished inhabitants by ensuring the supply of cheap fossil fuels, all while subsidizing some of the largest corporations in the world.
A December 2014 Gallup poll showed people in 65 nations considered the United States far and away the largest threat to peace in the world. If the United States was known for providing clean drinking water, schools, medicine, and solar panels to others, instead of attacking and invading other countries, we would be far more secure and face far less global hostility.
We can do this. Reverse the flow.
No walls, No War, No Warming!
A. Garcia climbing poetree
Adam Shah Senior Policy Analyst, Jobs With Justice
Alice Slater Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Alice Walker poet and writer
Ann Wright Veterans for Peace
Annie Leonard Greenpeace USA
Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson Highlander Research &a Education Center
Ayesha Gill IWW
Barbara Cicalese Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia
Beverly Guy-Sheftall Professor, Spelman College
Bonnie Gorman Mass. Peace Action
Bonnie Hughes Berkeley Arts Festival
Rabbi Brant Rosen American Friends Service Committee
Bonnie Lockhart System Change not Climate Change
Brian Trautman Veterans For Peace
Buzz Davis Vets for Peace
Chris Kaihatsu RevLeft (affiliation only)
Chuck Kaufman National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice
Cindy Wiesner Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Collin Rees SustainUS
Corey E. Olsen CEO Pipe Organs/Golden Ponds Farm
Dara Baldwin President and CEO of DMADRINA, LLC, Social Justice Policy expert
Daniel Carrillo Enlace
Dan Gilman Veterans For Peace
David F. Gassman System Change not Climate Change
David Hart New Economy Maryland, Institute for Policy Studies
David McReynolds former Chair, War Resisters International
David Swanson author, radio host, co-founder of WarIsACrime.org & World Beyond War
David Schwartzman DC Statehood Green Party
Dayne Goodwin Secretary, Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice, Salt Lake City
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Princeton University
Eve Ensler V-Day and One Billion Rising
Erich Pica President, Friends of the Earth
Frank Cordaro Des Moines Catholic Worker
Felice & Jack Cohen-Joppa the Nuclear Resister
Henry Lowendorf Greater New Haven Peace Council
George Martin Liberty Tree Fiundation
Gloria Steinem Author, feminist
Gregory Cendana Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO & Executive Committee Member of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
Gwyn Kirk Women for Genuine Security
James Early Institute for Policy Studies Board Member
Jamie DeMarco Program for Nuclear Disarmament & Pentagon Spending, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Jane Fonda actress & activist
Jaron Brown Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Jaron Browne Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Jay Schaffner Moderator, Portside
Jeff Cohen co-founder, RootsAction.org
Jeff Furman Ben & Jerry's Board of Directors
Jenny Lynn California for Progress
Jo Comerford Campaign Director, MoveOn.org
Joanne Landy Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Jodie Evans CODEPINK
John Kailin Member, Jewish Voice for Peace
John Cavanagh Director of the Institute for Policy Studies
John Lindsay-Poland American Friends Service Committee
John Sellers Other 98%
Josh Ruebner Policy Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
Joseph gerson American Friends Service Committee
Judith LeBlanc Native Organizers Alliance
Julie Levine Topanga Peace Alliance and MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles
Kathleen A Maloy Strategic Consulting for Health Equity
Kathy Kelly Voices for Creative Nonviolence
kathy lipscomb senior & disablity action
Kelley Ready Dorchester People for Peace, Congo Action Now
Keith McHenry Food Not Bombs
Kevin Martin President, Peace Action and the Peace Action Education Fund
Kourtney Andar Veterans For Peace
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw The African American Policy Forum
Lari Phillips Mussatti CTA
Laura Flanders host of The Laura Flanders Show
Leslie Cagan Peoples Climate Movement NY
Leah Bolger World Beyond War, Veterans For Peace, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Lindsay Koshgarian Research Director, National Priorities Project
Lindsey Allen Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network
Litsa Binder NJ Peace Action, FCNL, AFSC, Greenpeace
Liz Moore Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane
Lukas Ross Climate and Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
Mab Segrest, Southerners on New Ground
Madelyn Hoffman New Jersey Peace Action
Maggie Martin Co-director of Iraq Veterans Against the War
Marjorie Cohn National Lawyers Guild.
Mark Foreman Veterans For Peace
Marie Dennis Co-President, Pax Christi International.
Martha Hennessy Catholic Worker
Mary Sue Meads
May Boeve 350.org
Medea Benjamin CODEPINK
Megan Amudson Women's Action for New Directions
Michael Eisenscher US Labor Against the War
Michael Kaufman Communities for a Better Environment
Michael T. McPhearson Veterans For Peace
Michelle Alexander author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness
Michelle Dixon Global Progressive Hub
Michelle Manos California for Progress
Mike Tidwell Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Miriam Pemberton Institute for Policy Studies
Monisha Rios Veterans For Peace, National Board of Directors
Monique Salhab Veterans For Peace
Murshed Zaheed Vice President and Political Director, CREDO Mobile
Nabil Mohammad ADC
Nadine Bloch Beautiful Trouble
Naomi Klein author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate
Nicolas J S Davies Journalist, Consortium News
Norman Solomon Co-Founder and Coordinator, RootsAction.org
Olivia Alperstein Communications and Policy Associate, Progressive Congress
Opal Tometi Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration; & Co-Founder, BLM Network
Oscar Chacon Alianza Americas
Patrick McCann Veterans For Peace, National Education Association
Paul Shannon American Friends Service Committee
pedro Escuela de La Paz
Peter Buffett American musician, composer, author and philanthropist
Phyllis Bennis Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies & Director, New Internationalism Project
Rabbi Brant Rosen American Friends Service Committee
Rafael Jesús González - poet Xochipilli, Latino Men's Circle
Richard Greve Veterans for Peace, Peace Action
Richard (RJ) Eskow Host, The Zero Hour radio program
Robert Naiman Just Foreign Policy
Robert Shetterly Americans Who Tell the Truth
Robert Weissman Public Citizen
Rosa Clemente 2008 Green Party VP candidate
Rosette M. Bagley Pax Christi Illinois
Rebecca Vilkomerson Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
Reece Chenault National Coordinator, US Labor Against the War
Regina Birchem Women's International League for Peace & Freedom
Samina Sundas Founder, American Muslim Voice Foundation
Saru Jayaraman Co-Director at Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC-United)
Steph Guilloud Project South
Stephen Miles Director of Win Without War
Steve Ongerth IWW, IBU (ILWU), Climate Workers, Railroad Workers United, System Change not Climate Change, and Sunflower Alliance
Tarak Kauff Veterans For Peace
Terry Kay Rockefeller September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Terry O'Neill President, National Organization for Women
Thea Paneth Arlington United for Justice with Peace, United for Peace and Justice
Thenmozhi Soundararajan Equality Labs
Thomas L Harrison Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Tom Swan Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG)
Vince Warren Exec Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Alice Slater WORLD BEYOND WAR
Wendy Thompson UAW, L. 22
William D. Hartung Center for International Policy
Winnie Wong co-founder, People for Bernie
Zillah Eisenstein writer, anti-racist feminist, International Women's Strike/US
US Conference of Mayors
Opposes Military-Heavy Trump Budget
World Beyond War
The US Conference of Mayors on Monday unanimously passed three resolutions opposing the military-heavy Trump budget proposal, urging Congress to move funding out of the military and into human and environmental needs rather than the reverse.
The three resolutions are numbers 59 and 60 found on this page and number 79 found on this page.
"We are very excited that the entire US Conference of Mayors, from major metropoles such as New York City and Los Angeles to small rural townships, understand that the resources being sucked up by the Pentagon to wage endless wars overseas should be used to address our crumbling infrastructure, the climate crisis and poverty at home and abroad.
"Congress and the Trump administration should listen to these mayors, as they reflect the needs and hopes of their constituents, not the greed of corporate donors," said Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK.
"The Peace Council applauds the resolve of major city mayors to dramatically cut the US military budget and to take the funds saved to provide money for jobs, education, housing, transportation, seniors, youth, rebuild our roads, bridges, public transportation much more," said Henry Lowendorf of the US Peace Council.
"The mayors understand how pouring the wealth of our great country into building war machines and waging wars around the globe does not make us more secure. To the contrary, this gigantic military budget is strangling our country and the many unnecessary wars only generate death, destruction and enemies. We fully support the mayors' call both for inviting the public and city leaders to hearings expressing on how funds saved by cutting the Pentagon budget can be used in our cities and for passing resolutions to our members of Congress demanding that they respond to cities to begin prioritizing the needs of our residents over war profiteering."
"These three resolutions should be read carefully by every member of Congress," said David Swanson, director of World Beyond War. "These are the considered statements of the mayors of this country, as prompted by the citizens of numerous cities that moved their city councils to pass similar resolutions and their mayors to support these."
Information on a campaign to pass resolutions through city councils, and those that have been passed thus far, can be found here:
Over 20,000 people signed a petition similar to Resolution 59 here:
Resolution 59 was introduced by the mayor of Ithaca, NY, and had been passed by that city.
It concludes with this:
"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the United States Congress to move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction proposed by the President, from militarism to human and environmental needs."
It also includes these Whereas clauses:
"WHEREAS, President Trump has proposed to move $54 billion from human and environmental spending at home and abroad to military spending, bringing military spending to well over 60% of federal discretionary spending; and
"WHEREAS, polling has found the US public to favor a $41 billion reduction in military spending, a $94 billion gap away from President Trump's proposal; and
"WHEREAS, part of helping alleviate the refugee crisis should be ending, not escalating, wars that create refugees; and
"WHEREAS, President Trump himself admits that the enormous military spending of the past 16 years has been disastrous and made us less safe, not safer; and
"WHEREAS, fractions of the proposed military budget could provide free, top-quality education from pre-school through college, end hunger and starvation on earth, convert the US to clean energy, provide clean drinking water everywhere it's needed on the planet, build fast trains between all major US cities, and double non-military US foreign aid rather than cutting it; and
"WHEREAS, as even 121 retired US generals have written a letter opposing cutting foreign aid; and
"WHEREAS, a December 2014 Gallup poll of 65 nations found that the United States was far and away the country considered the largest threat to peace in the world; and
"WHEREAS, a United States responsible for providing clean drinking water, schools, medicine, and solar panels to others would be more secure and face far less hostility around the world; and
"WHEREAS, our environmental and human needs are desperate and urgent; and
"WHEREAS, the military is itself the greatest consumer of petroleum we have; and
"WHEREAS, economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs program,"
Resolution 60 was introduced by the Mayor of New Haven, CT, and had been passed by that city.
"NOW,THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the Mayors of each of our cities to promptly hold public hearings that examine what each of city's Departments needs to carry out the goals of the Department and the work it is assigned and what they could accomplish if funds were available that now go to the military; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each city is urged to include in its public hearings a report on how much of its resident's federal taxes go toward paying the military budget; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each city government is urged to pass a resolution calling on our federal legislators and the US government to move significant funds away from the military budget to human needs; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each city is urged to send a copy of the resolution passed to its federal legislators with a request that they respond with their plans to reduce the military budget in favor of the human needs budget."
Sponsors of Resolution 79 were:
The Honorable T.M. 'Frank' Franklin Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines
The Honorable Alex B. Morse III, Mayor of Holyoke
The Honorable Ardell F. Brede, Mayor of Rochester
The Honorable Chris Koos, Mayor of Normal
The Honorable Denny Doyle, Mayor of Beaverton
The Honorable Frank C. Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines
The Honorable Geraldine 'Jeri' Muoio Ph.D., Mayor of West Palm Beach
The Honorable Helene Schneider, Mayor of Santa Barbara
The Honorable John Dickert, Mayor of Racine
The Honorable John Heilman, Mayor of West Hollywood
The Honorable Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland
The Honorable Lucy Vinis, Mayor of Eugene
The Honorable Mark Stodola, Mayor of Little Rock
The Honorable Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton
The Honorable Patrick L. Wojahn, Mayor of College Park
The Honorable Paul R. Soglin, Mayor of Madison
The Honorable Pauline Russo Cutter, Mayor of San Leandro
The Honorable Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque
The Honorable Salvatore J. Panto Jr., Mayor of Easton
The resolution recognized some of the cities that have passed resolutions:
"The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes resolutions adopted by cities including New Haven, CT, Charlottesville, VA, Evanston, IL, New London, NH, and West Hollywood, CA urging Congress to cut military spending and redirect funding to meet human and environmental needs."
It further resolved (at least as drafted; there were slight modifications):
"NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) calls on the United States Government, as an urgent priority, to do everything in his power to lower nuclear tensions though intense diplomatic efforts with Russia, China, North Korea and other nuclear-armed states and their allies, and to work with Russia to dramatically reduce US and Russian nuclear stockpiles; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes the historic negotiations currently underway in the United Nations, involving most of the world's countries, on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors deeply regrets that the United States and the other nuclear-armed states are boycotting these negotiations; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the United States to support the ban treaty negotiations as a major step towards negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear arms, and to initiate, in good faith, multilateral negotiations to verifiably eliminate nuclear weapons within a timebound framework; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, introduced in both houses of Congress, that would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls for the Administration's new Nuclear Posture Review to reaffirm the stated US goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons, to lessen US reliance on nuclear weapons, and to recommend measures to reduce nuclear risks, such as de-alerting, improving lines of communication with other nuclear-armed states, and ending nuclear sharing, in which Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey host US nuclear bombs; and
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement; and . . .
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to reverse federal spending priorities and to redirect funds currently allocated to nuclear weapons and unwarranted military spending to restore full funding for Community Block Development Grants and the Environmental Protection Agency, to create jobs by rebuilding our nation's crumbling infrastructure, and to ensure basic human services for all, including education, environmental protection, food assistance, housing and health care,
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges all US mayors to join Mayors for Peace in order to help reach the goal of 10,000 member cities by 2020, and encourages US member cities to get actively involved by establishing sister city relationships with cities in other nuclear-armed nations, and by taking action at the municipal level to raise public awareness of the humanitarian and financial costs of nuclear weapons, the growing dangers of wars among nuclear-armed states, and the urgent need for good faith US participation in negotiating the global elimination of nuclear weapons."